Peter Whiting.

As the recent election result unfolded, Ross Gittins, economics editor of the Sydney Morning Herald, wrote, ‘The day may come when he (Scott Morrison) decides winning the election was the easy bit’. Gittins was doubtless referring to the many immediate challenges Australia faces economically, socially, and ecologically, and observing that the government was reelected on a platform of continuity, not change.

Proactive policies to address pressing needs like the growing inequities in our society and the impacts of climate change, while not addressed by the Coalition in the run-up to the election, will need considered action.

In contrast, just six months ago in November 2018, protagonists for a ‘Prophetic Economy’ met at Castel Gandolfo in Italy. They were not interested in continuity, but sought to establish a bold vision for change to build an improved future for the world. They were seeking ways to transition to a different prophetic economy at the service of people, the planet, and the future, with special attention to those excluded from the current system. What would we need to do in Australia to be bold and visionary respondents to pressing needs locally and internationally?

Andrew Hamilton makes it clear that the first thing needed is a change in the priorities of Australian policies and politicians. His article reprinted from Eureka Street, Election is done, now to focus on what matters, argues for governments to respond to needs at all levels of society. He notes that the ‘difficulty of embodying concern for the common good and respectful relationships in government and Parliament is large’, and observes that subjecting ‘good governance to satisfying party-political demands has so deeply eroded confidence in government’. His reference to concern for the common good resonates strongly with the call of those advocating for a prophetic economy!

Lorraine Lipson highlights a follow-up event to the prophetic economy meeting planned for March 2020 in Assisi. Pope Francis is inviting young economists, entrepreneurs, and change-makers for a renewed economics, proposing new paths to a just, inclusive and sustainable world, without leaving anyone behind.

The changes needed on the climate change front, while confronting in scale, are not without clear signposts as to how we might proceed. John Wiseman writing in The Conversation captures this idea in 2040: hope and action in the climate crisis. He reviews a film by Damon Gameau on solutions to climate change and how a zero emissions world might unfold by 2040.

In painting a future when appropriate policies could respond decisively to climate change, many voices around the world are demanding public leaders and politicians embrace real change in pursuit of the common good, rather than bowing to sectional interests.

The prophetic economy consistently calls us to give special attention to those excluded from the current system. Anne Doyle recounts an affirming story of her recent visit to Nairobi, where, with champion wheelchair athlete Kurt Fearnley and his mum, she saw the positive difference that love and enthusiasm can make to broken lives.

SPC Board member and Operations Manager for the Vinnies soup van, Danusia Kaska, invites us to rethink what we know of ice addiction. A recent evidence-based workshop made her consider the problem in a different light.

Executive Officer of the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network, Jessica Morrison, shares her reflections on why it seems Christian churches have been reticent to embrace the Palestinian cause for justice.

The idea of a Prophetic Economy which addresses the needs of all may seem something of a dream, with far too many hurdles to overcome before it could become a reality. But is it so unreasonable an aspiration? Certainly, such an economy is envisaged in the Scriptural warrant.

Somewhat perversely, the time would seem most opportune now to be bold in seeking world change. Issues like climate change and the shared perils it represents for all humanity, in an optimistic scenario, could well be the catalyst for national leaders to set aside local short-term interests in favour of international action. Movements like Prophetic Economy, if we continue to press for change, could find their prophetic message strikes a chord!

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